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Tip: Windows Shortcut Keys – Part 2

Introduction

Following on from the first post in this series, we shall look at, in my opinion, the nicest of all shortcut keys - Windows 8 shortcut key.

Over the years, I have lived through most of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and with the arrival of Windows 8 with its new Metro look and feel and Windows 8 applications, this is probably the biggest jump in the user experience since the launch of Windows 95.

I am not a great fan of the new experience. Primarily the age old issue of change is the biggest problem and having to find the ‘new’ ways of doing things is always a pain. Don’t get me wrong, I do like change (as long as it is me instigating it).

With Windows 7 and below, I was always aware that Windows shortcut keys existed but my requirement for them was very small. Most things were there, in your face, waiting to be used. Windows 8 has made me revisit my shortcut requirements and having done a little digging, have come across some real charmers that have made my life that little bit easier.

Window Manipulation

Shortcut Key

Action

 + Tab

Cycles forwards through the Windows 8 Applications. This does not include desktop applications.

 + Shift + Tab

Cycles backwards through the Windows 8 Applications. This does not include desktop applications.

 + .

Cycles through the open Windows 8 applications.

 + Shift + .

Cycles through the open Windows 8 applications in reverse.

 + D

Displays or hides the desktop.

 + ,

Peek at the desktop.

 + M

Minimizes all of the open windows.

 + M

Restores all windows.

 + T

Cycle through the applications on the taskbar.

 + B

Set the focus to the notification area.

 + Ctrl + B

Switch to the application that is currently displaying a notification.

 + V

Cycles through the notifications.

 + Shift + V

Cycles through the notifications in reverse.

 + Up Arrow

Maximises the current window.

 + Down Arrow

Minimises the current windows or hides the current Windows 8 application.

 + Left Arrow

Docks the current window to the left side of the current screen.

 + Right Arrow

Docks the current window to the right side of the current screen.

 + Shift + Up Arrow

Makes the current window the full height of the screen.

 + Shift + Down Arrow

Restores the current window to the original height.

 + Shift + Left Arrow

Moves the current application to the previous screen.

 + Shift + Right Arrow

Moves the current application to the next screen.

 + Home

Minimises or restores all other windows.

Charms

Shortcut Key

Action

 + C

Displays the Charms selector.

 + F

Opens the Search charm to search for files.

 + Q

Opens the Search charm to everywhere or within the current application is supported.

 + S

Opens the Search charm to search Windows and the Internet.

 + W

Opens the Search charm to search settings.

 + H

Opens the Share charm.

 + I

Opens the Settings charm.

 + K

Opens the Devices charm.

Application Launching

Shortcut Key

Action

 + R

Displays the Run dialog box.

 + E

Opens Windows Explorer.

 + Number

Starts the application pinned to the taskbar in the position of the number pressed. If the application is already running, the current instance of the application will be displayed.

 + Shift + Number

Starts a new instance of the application pinned to the taskbar in the position of the number pressed.

 + Ctrl + Number

Switches to the last active instance of the application pinned to the taskbar in the position of the number pressed.

 + Ctrl + Shift + Number

Starts a new instance of the application pinned to the taskbar in the position of the number pressed as an administrator.

Other

Shortcut Key

Action

 + F1

Launches the Windows Help and Support system.

 + L

Locks Windows.

 + O

Locks the orientation of mobile devices.

 + P

Switches between presentation display modes.

 + U

Opens the Ease of Access Center.

 + X

Displays the Quick Link menu.

 + Z

Shows the commands available in the current application if supported.

 + Pause

Displays the System Properties window.

 + Ctrl + F

Launches the Find Computers window.

 + Enter

Activates the Narrator.

 + Plus or Minus

Activates the Magnifier and either zooms in or out respectively.

 + Esc

Deactivates the Magnifier.

 + Space

Switches the input language and keyboard layout.

 + Ctrl + Space

Switches to the previous input language and keyboard layout.


Hopefully these little beasties will help you fly around Windows 8 like a pro. I have found that I use quite a few of these on a daily basis. Stay tuned for the next post in the series where we shall take a look at a few more shortcut keys that will speed your Windows travels up. I hope you found this post useful and as usual, constructive critisism and suggestions are welcome.
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